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Soil and Composting: Sandy pond soil - can I use it in planting hole?

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 7, Views: 49
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Chapel Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 4, 2009
4:16 PM

Post #6363468

Last year we cleaned out our pond a bit, so we have piles of sandy pond "soil". Is it ok to mix it into planting holes (in this case for juniperus/juniperi) where the soil is somewhat clayey, or will this result in brick? I would also add soil conditioner and some compost. I also have a pile of top soil that came off an area that had been wooded. Should I use that instead and if so, why?

Also, can I use either one to make a mix for containers?

Thank you for your good ideas!!

(Zone 5a)

April 4, 2009
6:11 PM

Post #6363845

Sand and clay makes brick or something like that. The pond sand has low nutrients. Your compost and native top soil would be great. Keep an eye on that pondsand pile. If the weeds grow like crazy on it my opinion would be wrong about the nutrients. If it does grow great weeds one sould scatter it far and wide over a garden patch to use the nutrients after observation.
Sammamish, WA
(Zone 7b)

April 4, 2009
6:17 PM

Post #6363856

If I had that available to use, I would use it sparingly.
However I like experimenting, so I might mix it 1/3 sand + 1/3 native soil + 1/3 compost, & see what happens.
Chapel Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2009
2:21 AM

Post #6369932

Well, I don't think that I dare experiment with my work and plants, etc., but what I did do is this: I made a mixture with 2 trowels full of that pond sand, two trowels of compost, and two trowels of the local (red) soil and put them in a pot and wet the whole mess. Now, what I don't know is, when will I know whether this is toxic or perhaps quite ok?

How does that sound?
Sammamish, WA
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2009
4:37 AM

Post #6370485

I would place that mixture in a container, and check it out every few days. I might even sow some seed that I have grown before to see if it germinates, and determine how the seedlings look after their second set of leaves. You could also use it as a component in building your compost.
Why do you think it might be toxic? Was there something added to it?
Gilroy (Sunset Z14), CA
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2009
9:50 PM

Post #6373952

I've used fishpond water and muck on my plants for over 20 years, and it's just good "tea" for the plants. Not to worry about toxicity----unless you've added something to the water? If you have fish or healthy water plants, it will be fine for your other plants.

Now, the sand mixture is another issue altogether. As others have said, I'd run some tests on that to make sure it doesn't compress.
Chapel Hill, NC
(Zone 7b)

April 6, 2009
10:37 PM

Post #6374164

The word "toxic" is such a fashionable word now, sorry I used it. No, we haven't done anything bad to our pond, I just meant "bad" in terms of usefulness of the sand for my planting purposes. I guess I was disappointed that all this sand is not good for planting, even in a mixture, but we'll see, I will put some seeds in my mixed pot, maybe marigolds.

Katye, are you saying I could put some of the sand into the compost bin?
Sammamish, WA
(Zone 7b)

April 7, 2009
12:34 AM

Post #6374806

I am fond of using what is available: do what you can with what you've got.
That being said, I would find a place to use it, but not until I've checked out the range of possibilities.
Sand makes for good drainage, depending on what you mix it with. If there were any concerns about mixing it with other components for immediate planting, then I would skip it altogether & add to the compost. This is assuming that the amount of sand would not overwhelm the existing pile.
I have several piles on my property, so I tend to think of piles being large. I have no pond, so I'm uncertain about the volume of sand you've got to work with.
We have places locally that manufacture compost on a large scale for retail sale. One of the components is sand. Drainage can be an issue, depending on soil type. Here, we are clay-based. Adding sand to the soil did not work for me. I had to incorporate other components to create the loam that I wanted.
Adding it to the compost would be fine, as would spreading it around to avoid a large concentration.
I suggested using it in an experiment, just because I am so curious, and like to see the results. I have no clue regarding nutrient levels, so I wasn't considering it as such.
Let us know about the outcome!

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